Quinoa and Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Quinoa and Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

With the amount of hours my husband works, it’s rare for us to have a mid-week day that isn’t full of tasks we’re rushing to complete, but yesterday was a welcome exception.

The day started out with our 16 week appointment to check up on our little peanut, followed by a day of baby registering and going out to lunch, which was so good, it actually inspired today’s post. I’ll be honest, over the past month I have been somewhat ‘off the wagon’ when it comes to my eating habits. Between the holidays, my birthday and my husband having surgery, there was a whole lot of takeout happening as I just didn’t have it in me to get in the kitchen and whip up a meal. While I haven’t been gorging on fast food per say, I have been craving just about anything and everything I loved as a kid, just this time, gluten free. We’re talking pizza, french fries, tacos – you name it. Basically a bunch of foods that I haven’t eaten in years, so lately I have been feeling more than a little sluggish, and eager to return to some sense of normalcy.

Yesterday was the first time in weeks that I looked at a salad and actually thought ‘yum!,’ so I took advantage, and I am glad that I did! This Quinoa and Kale Salad from The Cheesecake Factory was so good, I couldn’t wait to recreate it at home, and to my surprise, it turned out excellent. The lemon vinaigrette really makes this salad pop, while the quinoa makes it hearty enough to be considered a meal on its’ own. The red grapes and red pepper add a perfect dash of sweetness, while the lemon keeps it light and fresh without being overwhelming.

I really think I may have found a new go-to kale salad here, so I hope you enjoy this easy, healthy dish as much as I do.

Quinoa and Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

5.0 from 1 reviews

Quinoa and Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2

My healthier take on this delicious Cheesecake Factory salad.
  • 4 cups curly kale; hard stems removed and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cups red grape halves
  • ½ a red bell pepper; finely chopped
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ***Lemon Vinaigrette:***
  • ¼ cup organic grapseed oil
  • Juice of 1 medium sized lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey; melted to soften
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • Pink Himalayan salt to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring two cups of water to a boil.
  2. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa thoroughly until soapy residue no longer appears.
  3. Add quinoa into the pan and return to a boil.
  4. Cover and cook on medium/low heat for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes are complete, remove quinoa from heat, but keep the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when finished, and let quinoa thoroughly cool.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine prepared kale, 2 cups of cooked quinoa, red grape halves, red pepper and raw sunflower seeds. Stir to thoroughly mix.
  6. In a small dish, whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette, adding salt to taste.
  7. Pour vinaigrette over salad and stir to evenly coat.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Salad will store in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days.



4 comments on Quinoa and Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

  1. Jessica
    January 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm (3 years ago)

    So yummy! I split the salad 4 ways and added 2 oz of cedar plank salmon to the top of each! LOVED it! I’m so glad I found your site! :) Everything I’ve tried has been delish. Hopefully there’s a future cookbook in the making! :)

    • Danielle
      January 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm (3 years ago)

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jessica! Adding the salmon to this would be amazing! As far as the cookbook, I have been independently working on one, so stay tuned :)

  2. Jill
    May 22, 2015 at 7:52 am (3 years ago)

    Any suggestions for an oil other than grape seed?

    • Danielle
      May 27, 2015 at 4:07 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Jill! You can use any oil of your preference. Olive oil is just fine too.


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